Tuesday Cubs News Round-Up
Some bits of news from the latest news cycle, most of it mentioned in the comments in the thread below.
- I admit missing out on this rather crucial piece of information, but apparently Aramis Ramirez 2012 option is a mutual option. Technically, if the Cubs exercise the $16M option, he can void it and forfeit the $2M buyout, and his agent suggests that with Hendry gone, that's looking more likely now.
I'm not sure if that's good or bad news yet. $16M for one season is a bit expensive for Ramirez, but there's not a lot out there to play the hot corner either.
- Tracy Ringolsby goes after Cubs team president Crane Kenney today over on Fox Sports.
You've got to love Ricketts saying Kenney is absolved of all blame for what transpires on the field because Kenney is confined to business matters. Yeah, business matters like overruling Hendry on more than one occasion because Kenney felt outside pressure to reel in high-priced veterans.
Veterans like Alfonso Soriano, who Hendry had declared would not get more than a five-year guarantee only to have Kenney's business sense overrule him and provide an eight-year sentence to the organization with its obligation to Soriano.
It was pointed out on Twitter that then president John McDonough took responsibility for the extra years on Soriano's contract, which Ringolsby acknowledges, but also claims to "trust his sources".
- In the same link as the Aramis article, prospect Dillon Maples says Hendry was a big reason for him signing.
- Yet another prospective GM list, this time from Tim Brown at Yahoo.
- The Astros put Wandy Rodriguez on waivers and he was claimed. Doubtful it's the Cubs with a captainless ship at the moment, but I wouldn't have minded adding him(it's not, it's the Rockies). He's owed just $10M next year, $13M in 2013 and a $13M team option in 2014 with a $2.5M buyout. He's put up ERA numbers of 3.54, 3.02, 3.60, 3.31 since 2008 and will be 33 next year.
- Andrew Cashner has a rehab outing for the Tennessee Smokies tonight, allegedly can be watched for free on MILB.tv.
- Speaking of the Smokies, Eric Jokisch in his second start since being promoted from Peoria went 6 innings, struck out 10 against 2 walks and 3 hits, while giving up just a run. Vitters went 3/3 with a double in the same game. Brett Jackson keeps going with a 2/4 night for Iowa. Zeke DeVoss went 4/6 for Boise with a double.
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?